Pascha 2024 Newsletter

Pascha 2024 Newsletter
Christ is risen!
Христосъ воскресе!
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!

We are already a few weeks out from the great feast of feasts Pascha, the Resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. We thank God that the Monastery was able to celebrate many divine services and feast well during this time. Thank you to all who fasted with us during the Great Fast, and then prayed and feasted with us during the start of this joyous Paschal season.

The very first Ecumenical Synod gave us the praxis that for fifty days after Pascha we do not bend the knee in prayer, for Christ has risen and lifted us up out of our passions and sinful reactions to live a new and resurrected life. So profound is the Great Mystery of Pascha that our very bodily posture in prayer has been raised up so that we are taught by our own bodies to ascend as conquerors over sin, no longer live earthly, and participate in the Resurrection of our Lord. We do not fast at all during Bright Week, and even for the days afterward that we start to fast again, it is not as strict as before. Our very manner of living has changed from how we stand in prayer, how we eat, how we begin the divine services now with the singing of “Christ is risen…,” and we now are given the grace to live as we should always have been: forgiving everyone and by divine love seeking the salvation of all.

We recently celebrated Thomas Sunday where the doors are shut once again in the Churches as opposed to Pascha and Bright Week where they are perpetually open. However, even if doubt assails us, we must find our self in the godly company of the Church where Christ will enter and come and dwell with us. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ our true God Who is risen from the dead Who has come into our midst even though the doors were shut. Let us offer our worship instead of myrrh; let our faith be active to the edification and building up of our brothers and sisters. Let us approach Christ with a joyous heart offering up our very lives in the hope of the Resurrection of all and the life of the age to come.

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It has been a long while since our last newsletter; there is much to share with everyone. In the past few months we have had two tonsures to Riassaphore here at the Monastery. One is Hieromonk John who has been with us just over a year. Sadly he will be leaving us to help revitalize a Monastery down in Resaca, Georgia at the end of the month. He will be greatly missed. The other tonsure was Riassaphore-monk David, formerly known as Brother Kyrylo, who has been here a bit over two years now.

We have also grown our relationship with our neighbors here locally as well as continue to participate in the life of a local parish, Saint Herman’s in Stafford, which has our Abbot, Metropolitan Jonah, as its Rector, as well as a mission (currently in the process of being received formally as a parish) out in Louisa County. We ask your prayers and support for our Monastery as well as these two communities as we together seek Christ and His Kingdom first above all. Much work has been done, with much still left to do, in regards to the physical property of Saint Demetrios - from gardening, planting of flowers, to even much larger tasks dealing with septic tanks and plumbing issues.

While having a much more rigorous Lenten schedule, we now continue our robust schedule of services that are all in English as well as time for both corporate and private use of the Jesus Prayer. We have seen growth in our numbers as well as a decline for those who have left. Our total number of residences will be eight at the end of this month which leads us to look forward to new growth, meaning new monastics, as well as an opportunity for communal growth internally as we both seek to strengthen and preserve the bonds of brotherly love. We have several other monastics who are attached to the Monastery but do not reside here - some like Father Silouan are out in Africa doing missionary work, others are serving at parishes and while living in the world are not of it by their self-renunciation. God willing we shall also have several candidates come over the next few months who may want to pursue the monastic life. Please keep them and all of us in your prayers.

Let us end with words from a beautiful homily of Saint Justin (Popovich): “In our human world, death is the greatest torment and inhumane horror. Freedom from this torment and horror is salvation. Such a salvation was given the race of man by the Vanquisher of death – the Risen God-Man. He related to us all the mystery of salvation by His Resurrection. To be saved means to assure our body and soul of immortality and life eternal. How do we attain this? By no other way than by a theanthropic life, a new life, a life in the Risen Lord, in and by the Lord’s Resurrection.”


Truly He is risen!
Воистину воскресе!
Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
Yours in Christ,
Brotherhood of Saint Demetrios Monastery